Sacked prison deputy turns to courts

| 02/02/2016 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

HMP Northward

(CNS): The former deputy director of the prison service, who was sacked last year over allegations that she was responsible for secretly filming one of her prison colleagues with covert video equipment, has filed an application for a judicial review. Aduke Natalie Joseph-Caesar claims that the decision by the home affairs chief officer to fire her was illegal. Caesar states in the application that as a prison officer the only person with the authority to dismiss her was Prisons Director Neil Lavis.

In the legal documents filed with the Grand Court last week, Joseph-Caesar claims the chief officer “acted illegally when he decided to, and did, conduct disciplinary proceedings” under the Public Service Management Law. As a prison officer, “any disciplinary proceedings should have been conducted by the director of prisons in accordance with the prison law”, local attorneys Samson & McGrath stated in the legal action.

Joseph-Caesar is asking the courts, if the case is allowed, to declare that the “termination decision was invalid”, that she is still in post and for her backdated salary to last November.

She was sacked after an internal inquiry over a hidden camera found in the office of a prison manager. The issue arose from internal concerns in the prison that the manager under surveillance may have been acting inappropriately with one or more prisoners. As a result, that manager and the officer who reportedly installed the camera at the request of Joseph-Caesar were both suspended, along with the deputy director.

Since then, the deputy governor has stated that there was nothing incriminating on the video from the manager’s office but it is not clear if she or the officer who fitted camera have returned to work.

During questions in the Legislative Assembly from MLAs Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean about what was on the tape and the question of who conducted the disciplinary action, Franz Manderson said he did not know why the enquiry had been conducted by the ministry and not the prison director but he claimed the process had been conducted in accordance with the law.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As high as you may be…the law is above you still Denning

  2. Roger Ramjet says:

    Can someone please explain to me something I legitimately don’t any knowledge of?

    Why are people that are fired entitled to compensation, whether through the courts, or otherwise? If my employer fired me, that would be the end of it and I would pack my bags.

    In the same vein, why are those fired, or ‘suspended’ still paid their salary at all? It seems almost impossible for the government or firms to fire people, whether due to their incompetence, or re-structuring, without having huge pay-outs and having to pay a salary for years whilst the person no longer works.

    It just all seems wrong to me and I wonder what law justifies such approaches. This is not rhetorical. I would like to understand this.

    • sharon says:

      11:29- no one is paid after they have been terminated. But paid while the case is being investigated.

      the fact that she was fired proves that it is not impossible to fire persons.

      can we really say that no one was fired from the civil service. I know of at least 4 persons fired recently.

      when was the past time CIG had to pay out damages for getting it wrong? Which case are you taking about?

      I must commend you for at least asking questions and not be like 8:59 who has already decided the case before it was heard. An obvious private sector worker.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rules, particularly within the Civil Service, were put in to try and redress/control ‘politically motivated’ personnel practices. Fires some one for non-performance, no problem. Fire someone for not supporting your politician, problem. (Note, this ‘political’ example doesn’t involve a politician or even a Minister. There can be los of ‘political’ reasons for firing, etc., people. And given the size, social importance, etc., of the Civil Service ‘extra’ rules are needed to try and keep things above board.) For a concrete example see any of the ‘gardening leave victims’ from a few years ago. – Basically, the Civil Service has had incidences of people being terminated unfairly and these rules are there to protect against that.

      The above is in answer to a basic question of ‘why the rules exist’. ‘What the rules/practice should be’ is one more open to personal opinion, which I am not trying to address here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    another expensive loss in the courts for cig coming up….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t believe what the DG said about not knowing the details surrounding the enquiry of the Deputy at the Prison. My simple question is how the DG was able to say that the enquiry was done in accordance with the law but yet he doesn’t seem to know any more specifics. Thrust me, Eric Bush does not take any action like that without discussing it with the DG.

    • Debbie says:

      9:55 Stop commenting if you don’t know the facts. I for one will wait for the judgement.

      Oh my does this mean that accoutablity is improving in the civil service?

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